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An Honest Assessment

At the end of each semester, graduate students are asked to complete a 46-item end-of-course survey. An impressive 87% of students enrolled in summer graduate courses completed their surveys. People often wonder whether their voice actually matters or whether what they say gets lost in some survey black hole. While individual identities remain anonymous, the data and comments from each MLC graduate course are carefully reviewed by both the instructor and the director, and recommendations are made as a result. Here are some things we learned:

Each course had areas of strengths and weakness, but there were some areas which students in all courses consistently rated as strong. Most respondents “strongly agreed” that their instructors were well qualified to teach their courses and played an active, positive role during the online instruction. Almost all students agreed that the online course materials were well designed and easy to negotiate. Credit for high ratings in course design goes, in part, to Dr. Jim Grunwald, through whom all MLC online instructors receive training in how to construct their courses.

According to our students, each course also has areas in which to improve. Here are a few of the items instructors will be addressing before they teach their courses again:

  • Designing group interactions that ensure quality responses and greater student flexibility.
  • More opportunities for peer review of final projects.
  • Pacing course content and managing student workload to improve the student experience.
  • Increasing opportunities for direct application in a variety of settings.

Thank you to those who conscientiously filled out the end-of-course surveys. Your honest assessment is valuable and helps the program act upon ways to improve.